If your situation is one where money is a pressing matter (it’s not always that way for some who just have an interest in working from home), then services are the fastest route to making money.
The premise of offering services is this:
You are not yet experienced and successful online. But there are MANY who are. And they range on levels of success – some make multi millions. Others make enough to survive on and are trying to grow their business but simply can’t without a bit of extra help to free up some of their time.
So you step in to alleviate their time management woes. You’re going to either be doing things they don’t have time for – OR, taking over tasks they don’t know HOW to do (like some people can’t write).
I have some warnings for you with services that you need to heed:
· They will feed off of your desperation – so keep it under wraps. If you post a bid on a project or approach a prospective client BEGGING for work, they’ll get you to charge the very least amount possible, knowing you’ll take it.
· You can’t be afraid to stand up for yourself just because they know more than you about the online marketplace. For example – let’s say you get hired to ghostwrite an eBook.
You write it, but before you get paid, the marketer tells you that he doesn’t want you to deliver it in Word or TXTX but in HTML – so that his entire site is fully formatted for him and ready to upload.
This isn’t a ghostwriting gig – it’s writing paired with website creation! Tell him either “No, I only deliver the content,” or, “Sure – but the website creation aspect will cost you an additional $____.”
The sad thing is, some shady marketers actually teach others how to rip off service providers, so stand firm. It will NOT impact your earnings.
· They ALL need their deliverables yesterday. Every marketer will try to rush you. This is because most service providers are notoriously late. So they feel like if they rush you, then maybe they’ll get their stuff on time. Let them know a delivery date up front and if they can’t accept that, let them find someone else.
So now we’re going to look at a few services that you can offer to fellow Internet marketers. You could have a site offering just one service, or mix and match a few offers.
If you want to, you can grow your own service business by bringing on a few other trusted service providers. You take in the money and keep a small percentage and then pay them the remainder.
This is the most predominant service marketers are after online. So many people can’t write, or have no time to whip up content. They need content for many things, including:
· Info products to sell (like eBooks)
· Squeeze pages
· Email autoresponders
· Article directories
· Guest blog spots
· Viral reports (like free opt ins and sneak peek PDFs)
And the great thing is, very few marketers only have one niche. So a single client could yield dozens upon dozens of projects for you in a wide variety of niche markets!
Now you may have some questions – like, “Is my writing good enough?” Writing online is a far different world than writing for a professor in college. It’s conversational – look at this guide you’re reading now – could you write in an easy manner like this?
What can you earn ghostwriting? Well you might get scared off when you see a few people charging $4 per page. But most viable marketers don’t hire these people – they feel there’s a direct correlation between the price and the quality of the deliverables.
Most brand new ghostwriters start off charging about $7 per page (a page has about 430 words on it). You can raise your per page rates very quickly, but the key is to build yourself a reputation as a service provider who:
· Writes unique content. So many writers simply rip off other people’s content. Please don’t do this – they can easily check it for uniqueness using free and paid tools online.
· Delivers good, quality writing. It doesn’t have to be mind-blowing, but it should be something that flows in a good order and makes sense.
· Delivers on time. As I mentioned before, most ghostwriters are notoriously late. The key is to give yourself some leeway for personal problems that might interrupt your schedule. Don’t overdo it either – shoot for a daily per page completion under what you really think you can accomplish. If you finish early – the client will be very impressed.
· Learns enough about the business that they can help brainstorm. If you’re hired to write an eBook, for example, the client will be very impressed if, when he tells you he needs an opt in report but can’t think of a topic, you come up with one off the top of your head! Try to learn about the client’s niche so you can be of service and not make him think of everything.
It’s not all just about quality. The other aspects are just as important. If you start doing things that other ghostwriters fail to do, you’ll quickly become the go-to person for content and you’ll have a client waiting list!
Where can you find ghostwriting gigs? There are several different ways to approach this – three that you can combine or pick from.
The first way is for those on a budget. If you can’t afford anything at all, then simple sign up for free in a forum like Warrior Forum or other place where marketer’s hang out and start posting and interacting.
Get to know people there and spread by word of mouth the fact that you’re looking to write for others. You can even approach some experienced marketers and offer to do a free page for them so they can test the waters with you.
The second method is to sign up on a site like Elance. This is a bidding site where you’ll set up a profile and portfolio and you’ll bid on projects that are posted by marketers.
For example, a marketer may post a project for a 50-page eBook. You can then bid on it (maybe $350 to start you off with some good feedback ratings – more positive ratings mean more projects awarded to you). The project will be awarded to the person the marketer wants to hire based on bid amount and quality of portfolio.
The last method you can use to find work is to create your own website. It’s not expensive to get a domain ($10 a year) and hosting ($10-20 a month). And then you could install a free WordPress blog on it and have an order form built in! You can showcase your work on your site, in addition apply Adsense and add some affiliate links to them as well.
What do I need to get started? The only thing you really need is a portfolio. Don’t worry – it doesn’t matter if you’ve never had a single client. You can create a simple portfolio by creating excerpts for them to browse.
Have a page on your site or a document you can send to people that has half page articles inside on a variety of niche topics. You might choose something like this:
· One health article
· One pet article
· One financial article (Forex, insurance, etc.)
· One relationship article
· One marketing article (it can be simple like “working at home”)
This gives them a sense of where your strengths lie and it shows them you’re versatile – because remember, most of them will have multiple niche markets and prefer to work with ONE ghostwriter who can do it all!
Backlinks are considered off-page SEO (search engine optimization). Marketers like to have other sites linking in to their own domain because in the eyes of Google and other search engines, it makes it appear as an authority site.
People will pay you to build backlinks for them and it’s often quick and easy work – such as creating a profile in a forum and on the profile page, making a hyperlink that points to their domain.
Many marketers love the fact that a blog feeds content to Google and other search bots on a regular basis. Frequent posting means frequent indexing into the search engines.
But blogging can be tedious. You have to whip up content, put it into the new post, format it, add any multi media like video embed codes, etc., and then publish it and ping it for the RSS feeds.
The big time marketers need all of the helping hands they can get. When their emails reach a flow they can’t handle, then they’ll look for a customer service rep who can learn the backend of their business and help meet the needs of their customers.
You can approach marketers individually or start some word of mouth buzz about being the go to customer service assistant for marketers. You’ll need to compare pay on this one but it should be a salary or hourly wage.
Web 2.0 (and 3.0 now that Google Plus has arrived) is making it virtually impossible for marketers to succeed without creating a sense of interaction with their niche community.
Marketers need things like:
· Facebook fan pages
· Twitter feeds
· Squidoo lenses
· Hub Pages
· Google Knols
· Google Plus feedback
· FriendFeed fodder
If you can go make a few of these to showcase your skills, then you might be able to create a service offering the social networking management of some of the most up and coming marketers out there.
Forum posts send a lot of traffic to marketers’ websites. But the ones who are busy with product creation and networking can’t sit there finding and building a reputation in forums. You can offer this service and make a bundle helping them build their brand.
A VA, as they’re known, does a little bit of everything. If the marketer has a 1-800 number, then the VA might take calls for them. She might set up domains and register hosting.
Your VA services can be charged by the hour or per project – you have to decide what’s right for you. And the great thing is, you can be a virtual assistant for more than one marketer at a time if the tasks allow for it.
Don’t Let Services End Your Work at Home Journey
Some people start with a service, like ghostwriting, and continue writing until they finally retire. But what happens once you no longer want to work? Without a corporate retirement package, you may not be able to make ends meet.
So it’s important that along the way, you make YOURSELF a client. All of those tasks you were offering to others – do those for a business model of your own that will provide residual earnings for you over time.
· Pick an evergreen niche – this is one that will be around for an endless time, such as wedding planning or weight loss.
The problem with most service providers is – they never make time for themselves. It’s too easy to be tempted by money you can be paid RIGHT NOW by someone else than work toward something that will pay off one day.
We’re going to cover some other business models that you can build. Maybe give yourself one day a week that’s devoted to growing your own business. You don’t want to work for every single dollar for the rest of your life – you want to have some income on autopilot.